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Asklepios

The god of medicine and healing. Son of Apollo and Coronis. Asklepiosí main attribute is the serpent-staff and his sacred animal is the cock. When Coronis was pregnant with Asklepios she was unfaithful to Apollo. A crow informed Apollo of his wifeís infidelity, so he sent Artemis to kill her. While Coronisí body was set to burn upon the funeral pyre, Apollo removed the unborn Asklepios from his motherís womb. Apollo then appointed the Centaur Chiron as the childís guardian and mentor, and Chiron taught Asklepios the art of medicine. Asklepios also learned the art of surgery, drugs and love potions. As a gift, the goddess Athena presented Asklepios with a magic potion extracted from the blood of the Gorgon. The magic potion had two different effects depending on whether the blood, from which it was made, was extracted from the left or right side of the Gorgon. Blood extracted from the right side of the Gorgon had healing power, whereas blood from the left side had fatal consequences. With this magic potion, Asklepios brought the dead back to life in exchange for money, which greatly angered Zeus. According to Zeus, Asklepiosí deeds upset the natural balance of the universe, and therefore, Zeus killed Asklepios by striking him with a thunderbolt. Regretting his action, Zeus made Asklepios into a god, and transformed him into the constellation Ophiuchus, or the serpent-bearer.

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